Longtime Wichita aircraft executives Tim and Dianne White have purchased Kansas Aircraft Corp., an Olathe-based aircraft sales business.
The couple bought the company from Michele Stauffer, who founded it in 1990. The deal closed April 15.
Kansas Aircraft Corp., based at New Century AirCenter Airport, is a Cessna dealer selling Cessna 172s, 182s, 206s and the model TTx, formerly the Corvalis.
It also sells used high-end piston aircraft, twin-engine, turboprop and jet aircraft of all manufacturers.
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“We do work the entire market,” Dianne White said. “We’re able to take a customer through their entire flying career. When they start out in a piston aircraft, we can help them as they move up to a more capable aircraft (as their needs change).”
They also have a “multi-million dollar floor plan” to help customers with trade-ins, she said.
“We have the financial ability to take your aircraft into our inventory,” White said.
The business was an opportunity the Whites couldn’t pass up.
“We always wanted to go out on our own,” said Tim White. But the plan was to do it later in their careers.
“We were thinking down the road,” Dianne White said.
But in a conversation, Stauffer mentioned that she was looking for an exit plan for the business, Tim White said. Stauffer is 62.
“It made sense for us,” said he said.
Stauffer is a “bit of a legend,” Tim White said. “She has such a strong following in that business.”
Stauffer will stay on in an advisory role and in sales. The other staff members will continue in their roles as well.
The Whites are both pilots.
Tim White was Cessna senior vice president of sales in the Americas and left the company in March 2012 after 14 years. He most recently was with Bombardier as regional vice president of sales for the western U.S. for business aircraft.
Dianne White left Cessna a year ago; she had served as vice president of corporate communications. She was previously editor of Twin & Turbine magazine.
Tim White’s sales experience with Citation jets will add to the company, she said.
“What it brings to the mix is additional Citation knowledge and expertise as well as relationships throughout the industry that will help bolster that portion of the business,” she said.